Martinez close to Wigan departure
Wigan have granted manager Roberto Martinez permission to talk to another club, opening the way for him to leave the DW Stadium.
Martinez held talks with chairman Dave Whelan about his future over the weekend, where he expressed his desire to speak to the unnamed club. After lengthy discussions between the pair, that has now been granted.
The Spaniard has been strongly linked with the vacant managerial post at Everton after David Moyes left Goodison Park to replace Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
A statement on the club's official website said: "Wigan Athletic can confirm that following an approach made by another football club, permission has been given to Roberto Martinez to discuss a vacant managerial position.
"After discussions between Roberto and chairman Dave Whelan, it was reluctantly agreed that Roberto, who remains the manager of Wigan Athletic, would be allowed to speak another club.
"There is no further comment to be made at this point."
Martinez’s association with Wigan began in 1995 when he signed as a player and, 14 years later, he was appointed manager at the DW Stadium.Under his guidance, Wigan maintained their Premier League status for three seasons but he was unable to stop them dropping out of the top-flight this season, with defeat to Arsenal in their penultimate game sealing their fate.
However, the 2012-13 campaign was not all bad for the Lancashire club, as Martinez guided them to their first-ever major trophy, beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final three days before relegation was confirmed.
The 39-year-old has instilled a passing style of play at the club that has attracted the attention of other chairmen. Whelan had been able to repel those advances in recent years, but after their relegation, the Spaniard has now decided he wants a new challenge.
"He wanted permission to move so I've given that," Whelan told Sky Sports News. "He has 12 months left on his contract, so whoever comes in for him must pay the remainder of his contract.
"He feels he's not the man to lead us back into the Premier League, I've got to accept what he feels. He loves Wigan and the fans, (but) we have to move on now and (I) want applications for the job.
"We hope to be able to appoint a new manager within seven to 10 days."